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Road Racing World Action Fund "Air Fence" vs Recycled Bottle Bags

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  • Road Racing World Action Fund "Air Fence" vs Recycled Bottle Bags

    What do you think of this new idea vs the expensive air fence?

    For $5,500, they purchased 200 of these - making 800ft (2 football fields in length) !!
    I think one Airfence is $1,700-$1,800 ?? (edit: $4,500 now)

    So, instead of 3 Airfence's at BHF, you could line all of T2, T4-T5 & T6?

    We need to discuss this and get manufacturer info.

    Last edited by Spoot; 09-10-2018, 06:02 PM.
    WELCOME TO WiR - Enjoy

    Thank You to my personal, CCS Racing sponsors:, Cycle Gear,

  • #2
    For sure, I'd rather have these instead of tire wall or armco.
    You should see me in a headsock !


    • #3
      I like it!

      I'm going to just go out on a limb here and guess that the people who manufacture air fences are going to find a reason to object because it cuts into their sales. I can hear it already "These are NOT as safe as genuine Airfence Safety Systems (TM)" Sometimes businesses are so predicable.

      I will personally donate money to help line T4 with some of these if BHF decides to go that route. Also I'm going to go drink 2 bottles of water RIGHT NOW!
      John K - Appleton


      • #4
        Heck yes. Think about how many plastic water bottles go to the landfill after a race or track day weekend. We could fill those up pretty quick.
        Jared Herbig Racing - "Like" me on Facebook - CCS #323
        01' SV650
        Lockhart Phillips - Vortex - Spears Racing - TSE - Gron4 - Motorex - Woodcraft


        • #5
          This article is from May 2015. I couldn't find any recent information about their effectiveness. I did find a video from an 85cc dirt track incident. After watching that I'm not sure how viable these would be against bikes weighing 200+ lbs more, with riders weighing in some cases 100 lbs more, traveling significantly faster. The bags in this video were not connected together and were not placed directly next to each other. I'm not sure if that is by design or if this venue was trying to stretch their coverage. Luckily no one was injured here but I think if it had been sport bikes going into T4 at BFR it would be a different outcome. I think there's a reason airbags are still being deployed in 2018 and I don't think industry collusion or other conspiracies are involved.


          • #6
            Ok. I found one. I'm still skeptical though.


            Are they better than Armco or a tirewall? Probably. Are there better systems available? I think so. After an impact how degraded is the safety of the bags and how often do you need to replace the bottles?


            • #7
              It's bottles with caps on, and the bottles used aren't uniform...

              I'm going to go with it's better than tires, probably, but it's not consistent. A bag filled with 16oz water bottles is going to react significantly different to one filled with windshield washer fluid bottles.

              In addition, there's too many variables on fill quantity, without even considering fill material. This means there's no consistent impact rating, nor can it be measured by track orgs to see if each bag meets minimum ratings. An air fence can be manufactured and tested at X inflation level and so long as it's inflated to that level, it will meet rating. This also means it's something orgs can measure each and every time they go out. Not to mention, something they can advertise and/or demonstrate in court.

              In addition, a proper air fence has longer panels to minimize the chances of an impact hitting between two sections. These bags look to be fairly short.

              If struck, the bag may have to be removed. The bottles won't maintain shape or the ability to hold air (which is why you need the caps on) so they should be tossed, and a new bag, full of bottles, brought in to replace it. This does often happen with air fence sections, but un-inflated they should take up less space than the equivalent coverage bottle bags. This may or may not be an issue at any given track, but storage space isn't free.

              Having said all that, I'd rather slide into these than a tree, or rock, or tires that have sat for so long they've hardened and filled with sand or whatever. Especially if there's layers of them. They're essentially an air fence if done well. Actually, more like bubble wrap. They may well work, there's just no way to provide actual proof of what they can(rather, will) do.
              Matt J., Appleton
              2015 Yamaha R3
              Instagram- @motomatt_r3


              • #8
                If you look at the first vid by Derek, you can see at least 2 different sized bags, and they did space them and they stood them out to the track instead of along-side each other - flat side on the wall.


                Here is some more info from the crazy canuks:


                There may be different suppliers of these bags, too.
                Somewhere on that FB page they mentioned $50 for a bag!
                I think I would feel better if there were all 1/2 pint water bottles - and not the hard-plastic gator-aide bottles.

                I'd also like to see these anchored to the ground & to each other...somehow.

                Here's a walk-by video.
                Last edited by Spoot; 09-09-2018, 09:42 PM.
                WELCOME TO WiR - Enjoy

                Thank You to my personal, CCS Racing sponsors:, Cycle Gear,


                • #9
                  edit: found at least one brand that looks like what they are using
                  (watch the video)


                  Duffel top, plain bottom (or spout), a few sizes avail
                  42x42x55" = $47 each. $40 each when you buy 20.

                  FIBC's (Flexible Intermediate Bulk Container)
                  Last edited by Spoot; 09-09-2018, 10:07 PM.
                  WELCOME TO WiR - Enjoy

                  Thank You to my personal, CCS Racing sponsors:, Cycle Gear,


                  • #10
                    When you consider how cash strapped some racetracks are, genuine airfences aren't even anywhere in the equation. You're lucky just to get a stack of old hard steel belted radials or some hay bales.

                    The problem isn't the minor difference in impact absorption between airfence and bottle bags. The problem is money, and bottle bags help solve that problem. This is a great thing they have come up with.

                    Now I'm wondering if we can even get these bags in the states. At the USAIR kart track, there's 2 turns that could use a row of bottle bags and I would talk to the owners to see if I could make that happen there.

                    John K - Appleton


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Zaph View Post
                      Now I'm wondering if we can even get these bags in the states.
                      Flexible Intermediate Bulk Container

                      I think they readily available.

                      I would hate to see one get punted into the air if a bike slid under it and then the rider comes sliding in.
                      So, anchored down somehow and maybe a 2" basic foam at the impact side to add weight and help universally conform an impact?
                      WELCOME TO WiR - Enjoy

                      Thank You to my personal, CCS Racing sponsors:, Cycle Gear,


                      • #12
                        Spoot, you should talk with Yan(Jan?) at the track at the next round about this. Print out the link and article for him
                        You should see me in a headsock !


                        • #13
                          I shall do my best.

                          I wonder how much a 4' or 5' square bag weighs when full of empty water bottles?
                          WELCOME TO WiR - Enjoy

                          Thank You to my personal, CCS Racing sponsors:, Cycle Gear,


                          • #14
                            I've thought of 2 other things.

                            A positive is that wet weather shouldn't bother these. Not only will the water drain through the bag, but being a non-fiber type fill the characteristics won't change when it's wet. That's a pretty solid positive.

                            They are thick. One of those pics looked like the bag was right at the edge of the track. That could be fun, like a euro road race running close to hedges and such! (semi serious)

                            Look, I'll say again, I think they're a net positive. Just not provable.
                            Matt J., Appleton
                            2015 Yamaha R3
                            Instagram- @motomatt_r3


                            • #15
                              So many thoughts, so I'll try to be brief.

                              First, I would NOT feel safe with these things lining any corner I were to crash in. Would it be better than armco or tires? Maybe, but judging by all of the gaps you run a 50% chance or better of sliding under or in between these things and then hitting whatever is behind them.

                              Second, Matt is exactly right, there is absolutely way of these things achieving any consistent energy dissipation. It's all going to depend on what's in 'em, how they are filled, filled with what kind of bottles, is there "contamination" in the bags like water, dirt, sand, etc. There are way too many variables to repeatedly measure the effectiveness of these things.

                              Third, if you've ever worked with the real airfence, you know that they are connected together via heavy duty velcro straps so you can't slide in between the gaps. This makes one continuous safety barrier. These don't look like they have that. I would also say these are not as heavy as airfence, so when you hit them they would have a greater tenancy to move up and out of your way rather than staying put to slow you down.

                              Forth, think of this from an insurer's perspective. Every organization needs insurance to rent out a track. What to you think an underwriter would think of these things knowing there is a better, proven solution (airfence) out there? Good luck getting insurance at any reasonable price.

                              Lastly, BFR has all of the airfence they could need; it's all covered. That is why the majority of the benefits from this year's Motovid Broken Wing Benefit is going to help out Road America. There will be a few sections of airfence at BFR replace due to wear, but most of the funds raised this year are going to Turn 12 at Road A.

                              OK, I wasn't brief. But seriously, would YOU want to crash into these versus airfence???
                              Motovid CR
                              2006 Suzuki GSX-R750 (track warrior)
                              2004 Ducati ST4s (road warrior)
                              2009 Harley-Davidson Street Glide (Couch Potato-potato)